Bowhunting Tips for Beginners

Category Hunting

bowhunting_tipsJust knowing or memorizing a few bowhunting tips won’t guarantee success in the field. There’s plenty one needs to know or be aware of to avoid a wasted day. There’s going to be times when the deer, elk, or whatever you’re after just won’t cooperate, but you can still practice those things that can give you a bit of an edge, a better chance to get a shot off, and a better chance of hitting your target.

Just for the heck of it, let’s work backward, starting with the kill, and ending with the preparation.

When hunting with a rifle:

  • The goal is to hit a vital spot or failing that, bring the animal down so it won’t wander off for a mile or two.
  • In addition, you can shoot from a distance, and even shoot at a moving target, if it isn’t moving too fast.
  • Finally, you may be able to get off more than one shot in some instances.

bowhunting_arrowheadAll of these advantages go away when bowhunting. You have to be close, you have to hit the right spot on the animal, and if you ever get more than one shot in, tell others about it, because that will be a rare event.

Basic Bowhunting Tips

Where To Hit It

One of the bowhunting tips worth knowing is where to try to hit the animal. The thing to remember here is that an arrow does most of its damage through hemorrhaging, the substantial loss of blood, rather than knocking the animal over or shattering bones.

There are two tips here worth knowing:

  • The first is to divide the animal into three horizontal parts: upper, middle, and lower. Shoot at the upper half of the lower third, which will include the heart and lungs in front, and the gut in the back. A major wound in any of these areas will bring the animal down quickly.
  • When you do bring the arrow tip into position, come up on the animal with the tip, don’t come down. The latter technique causes many more misses. If you come up with the tip and are aiming for the lower third of the body, you’ll have a greater chance of scoring a hit than if you’re bringing the tip down.

Let Them Come To You

bowhunting_deerWe’ve just made our kill, so let’s back up in time and see how we got to where we got. The next tip then has to do with finding an animal to shoot at. You’ll have far better luck if you know where the animals are at or are likely to be than if you go out searching for them.

If you’re upwind, you’ll probably never even see a deer or elk, they’ll have sensed your presence long before you get close. If downwind, you still have to stalk, slowly and quietly. On the other hand, if you know where the animals are apt to show up, you can just wait, quietly of course.

Work The Details

bullseyeGoing back further in time, we find ourselves shooting at a target. Here is where some of the most valuable bowhunting tips are to be found. There are more than can be discussed here, but they have to do with getting comfortable with the bow, choosing the right arrows, working on your breathing and your stance, and practice, practice, practice.

In golf, a beginner is tempted to work mostly with the woods and 5-irons, practicing accuracy over the long distance. It just so happens that many golf tournaments are won or lost on the putting green. One bowhunting expert recommends practice in shooting at a target 15 feet away over and over until you’re ready to die of boredom. When you reach that point, do it some more. What’s the point of practicing on a target you could hit with a dart? The point is, you’re not working on accuracy, you’re working on breathing, control, and feel of the bow and arrow, and your stance.

In the field, you may not always be releasing the bow from the most comfortable stance, but it’s all important to work on your basic stance, find out what it is, and make it second nature. It’s the same with breathing and releasing the arrow. If you’re concentrating on aim, you’re probably not concentrating on proper breathing, the feel of the bow, and your stance. If any of those aren’t right, aiming may not matter.

Know Your Distance

The last of our bowhunting tips is probably worth giving some thought to. Know your distance, the maximum distance you can shoot with a reasonable chance of bringing the target down. You’re not storming the ramparts of a fortress or castle, shooting off arrow after arrow in the hope of hitting something. You have one shot, and if 40 feet is about your maximum distance, you’ll unlikely have luck at 50 feet.

Great Tips for Bowhunting Whitetails

White-tailed deerThose who practice or indulge in bowhunting whitetails see it as a passion and a calling rather than as a sport or a hobby. Yes, it is about being outdoors and getting to see nature in all its grandeur but it is also about pitting oneself against the elements and outwitting or outsmarting the well-honed survival instincts of the whitetail deer.

So, while the bowhunter is seeking a trophy rack for display, he is also constantly looking to improve technique and perfect the process of the hunt itself.

Bowhunters pride themselves on the fact that they get up close with their targets and they relish the uncertainties that chances are integral to the process. Bowhunting is about spending days and months in preparation for that exact second when a mature buck stands at the perfect spot for that perfect shot. However, the moment cannot happen without the hunter taking pains to arrange all the details in anticipation of making that great shot which will be the stuff of dreams.

Scouting Deer

Scouting, a process which has to happen well before the hunting season, is probably the most important first step for a bowhunter. Even in recognized hunting territory, a good hunter should spend time getting to know the terrain and patterns of the mature bucks. If you are hunting in open land, make sure that you walk through the woods before midsummer. If you start walking around in September, you may well alert the bucks to human presence and significantly reduce your chances of encountering them.

Most seasoned hunters will tell you that whitetails tend to be creatures of habit and that there are usually no new trails in established ground as the rubs and scrapes are often in the same tree and area every year. It is a good idea to do your scouting well ahead of time before rutting starts; if you find a lot of tracks it is likely to be those of mature does and also the offsprings. Bucks tend to be sparse in their tracks and they are not usually around high-density deer population except during rutting season. So, use your scouting expedition to learn about all the implications of the various markings.

Scouting should also be about educating yourself about details like the agricultural crop in the area as this can influence whitetail behavior. Bowhunting whitetails is a lot about increasing your odds with plentiful information.

Stand Placement

Another preparatory aspect that is critically important is the placement of the stand. It is important to be on the right trail and to make sure that you factor in the wind and the possibility of your scent being picked up by the buck you hope to get. Sometimes hunters place their stand over a scrape and while they will see a lot of deer activity, the buck they seek may not appear. This is because bucks tend to use parallel trails. Experts also suggest looking for good spots where woods and agricultural fields border. This is where the deer come to feed and typically the does and your ones come first and the buck lurks 30 to 40 yards behind and then joins them after dark. If you can place a stand that can take advantage of this lag period of the buck, you are likely to have a great opportunity for that perfect bowhunting shot.

Experts also suggest looking for good spots where woods and agricultural fields border. This is where the deer come to feed and typically the does and your ones come first and the buck lurks 30 to 40 yards behind and then joins them after dark. If you can place a stand that can take advantage of this lag period of the buck, you are likely to have a great opportunity for that perfect bowhunting shot.

Basic Whitetail Hunting Techniques

2012-ArcheryWhitetailDeerBowhunting-BurntLakeOutfittersYour chances of succeeding in bowhunting whitetails can increase dramatically also with the proper use of some basic principles of hunting. You can use the sense of smell and hearing of the deer to attract them to you. There are scents in the market that are meant to attract mature bucks such as that of a doe in heat and you can use something like this. You can also use scents to protect yourself from being discovered by using unattractive ones like that of fox urine. The idea behind the scent strategy is to blend in with nature and to not stand out as an alien smell to the whitetails which have a heightened awareness of unusual smells.

You can use the sense of smell and hearing of the deer to attract them to you. There are scents in the market that are meant to attract mature bucks such as that of a doe in heat and you can use something like this. You can also use scents to protect yourself from being discovered by using unattractive ones like that of fox urine. The idea behind the scent strategy is to blend in with nature and to not stand out as an alien smell to the whitetails which have a heightened awareness of unusual smells.

Hunters from time immemorial have used techniques for simulating noises that will attract the prey. Now there are ways to reproduce grunts and even the clash of antlers and these have proven to be good ways to awaken a buck’s curiosity.

A hunter has to have the right attitude and use their intelligence is using these tactics. A clash of antlers will not be as effective during the rutting season as it will be during rutting season. Over-use of the scent of a doe can be more of an annoyance than beneficial in getting the perfect shot on an attracted deer.

Final Tips Deer Hunting Tips

Be well-prepared, treat the process with respect and dignity, be flexible in handling unplanned developments and you are bound to get the most out of your hunting expedition. Bowhunting whitetails are about appreciating the need to blend in with nature, finding the ability to focus and use your setting to your advantage and having the patience to wait for the right congruence of angle and distance.

A Beginner’s Guide to Bowhunting Elk

bowhunting_elkBowhunting elk is a fun sport. There is nothing like bringing down your first elk, but to be successful, you really have to be prepared for the hunt and know what you are doing.

There is nothing that compares to being high up in the timber, and preparing to get your first kill, but a long time before you ever get to that point, you will have to begin preparing for your hunting trip.

Gathering The Right Clothing

camouflage_vestThe first thing you’ll need to do to prepare to go bowhunting elk is to prepare a list of what you will need to have.

Some things you will likely have on hand, but you’ll probably have to purchase other necessities at a sporting goods store.

Obviously, one of the most important items on your list will be the necessary clothing you’ll need to go up in the mountains:

  • scent_coverYou’ll need warm clothes such as turtleneck shirts, and thermal underclothes.
  • You will also need at least two sets of insulated camouflage clothing.
  • You will also want at least two pairs of waterproof boots.
  • Bring with you a waterproof hat, along with regular warm hats.
  • hunting_glovesYou will also want to bring along, at least, two pairs of gloves, one of which should be insulated.
  • It will also be a good idea to bring along some type of scent cover; you can usually buy this at your local sporting goods stores.

Bring Good Camping Supplies

When bowhunting elk, you will need some good camping equipment. Create a list of the necessary camping equipment you’ll need to bring along on your hunting trip. Your list should include items such as:

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Cots
  • Tent
  • Lanterns
  • Flashlights
  • Cooking Equipment

The Essential Bowhunting Supplies

bowhunting_suppliesOf course, there are also the essentials you will need for bowhunting elk too. This will include:

  • Your hunting license
  • Good bow with extra bowstring
  • You will also need some extra arrows
  • You may also want to bring a target, so that when you are in camp, you can practice with the target

Safety Kit

For safety, it is a good idea that you bring along:

  • A small first aid kit
  • Waterproof matches
  • A compass
  • GPS system
  • Maps

These things should be carried with you the entire time you are bowhunting elk.

It is also a good idea to bring along your cell phone and charger.

Optional Equipment That May Help

Some addition items that can make bowhunting elk a little easier is:

  • binocularsA rangefinder
  • Binoculars
  • A camera to take a picture after you bring down your first elk.

In addition, you won’t want to forget to bring along water, rope and extra food that will be easy to carry around.

Bowhunting Tips for Elk

The 2 most important steps to preparing for bowhunting elk is to increase:

  • Your skills with the bow
  • Your knowledge about elks

These are the two main things that can mean the difference between coming home with that prize elk, or empty-handed. Some important things about elks you will have to learn include details, such as:

  • How to track elks
  • Where the kill zone is on an elk
  • How to field dress an elk and prepare it so that you can freeze the meat

Along with all of this, you will need to have at least a good level of physical fitness. Bowhunting elk requires a lot of physical energy and endurance. Long before you go on your first hunting trip, you’ll want to start hiking and getting fit.

Although it may seem like a lot of work to prepare for bowhunting elk, you will find that your chances of staying safe and having a successful hunt will be a lot better if you are prepared.

Bowhunting Moose Tips

bowhunting_mooseBowhunting moose has to be one of greatest hunting adventures one can get involved in. A moose is basically the big, aggressive, brother of the elk. Even though the target is somewhere between very large and huge when up close, this isn’t a sport for an amateur archer or an amateur hunter for that matter. There are those who can’t bring themselves to pull the trigger on a long rifle with a deer in their sights a couple of hundred yards away. Imagine the feeling of not being able to release an arrow when a moose is standing but 15 yards away, blocking out the sun and most everything else.

Even though the target is somewhere between very large and huge when up close, this isn’t a sport for an amateur archer or an amateur hunter for that matter. There are those who can’t bring themselves to pull the trigger on a long rifle with a deer in their sights a couple of hundred yards away. Imagine the feeling of not being able to release an arrow when a moose is standing but 15 yards away, blocking out the sun and most everything else.

Unless you live in the right spot, finding an expert in bowhunting moose to give some guidance isn’t easy. Even if there are moose in the area you live, and it’s legal to hunt them, chances are the vast majority of those going after a moose are packing a rifle, not a bow. The first step, however, is to work on archery skills, becoming extremely proficient at the sport of archery before even thinking of taking on a moose. Once you’re comfortable with being able to skillfully handle a bow and arrow, it might be a good idea to spend a season or two going after deer. No matter what you’re hunting, it’s always shoot to kill, never shoot to wound. The latter does happen, though, but a wounded deer is much less apt to give you a bad time than might a wounded moose.

The first step, however, is to work on archery skills, becoming extremely proficient at the sport of archery before even thinking of taking on a moose. Once you’re comfortable with being able to skillfully handle a bow and arrow, it might be a good idea to spend a season or two going after deer. No matter what you’re hunting, it’s always shoot to kill, never shoot to wound. The latter does happen, though, but a wounded deer is much less apt to give you a bad time than might a wounded moose.

If you live where the moose do and have studied them some, you probably already know when and where one is most likely to be found – most likely near water. Unless you consider yourself to be an expert outdoors man and bow hunter, however, going out alone isn’t he best of ideas, especially if you have some luck, and find yourself with 1,500 pounds of meat and antlers to contend with. In other words, a hunting party or a guided hunt probably makes good sense, especially for the first try at bow hunting moose.

Equipment, Old Is OK

old moose hunting equipmentAs far as equipment goes, if you ask the wrong person, someone who knows more about retailing than moose hunting, you may end up with archery equipment much fancier than you really need. If you’re a good shot with a bow that’s 20 years old, and it’s big enough to do the job, stick with it. If the arrows you’ve become accustomed to are aluminum rather than graphite, stick with them. The moose won’t notice the difference. Some hunting lodges or outfitters will provide what you need, but whether it’s a rifle or bow, what feels comfortable in your hand is what will usually work best.

As far as equipment goes, if you ask the wrong person, someone who knows more about retailing than moose hunting, you may end up with archery equipment much fancier than you really need. If you’re a good shot with a bow that’s 20 years old, and it’s big enough to do the job, stick with it. If the arrows you’ve become accustomed to are aluminum rather than graphite, stick with them. The moose won’t notice the difference. Some hunting lodges or outfitters will provide what you need, but whether it’s a rifle or bow, what feels comfortable in your hand is what will usually work best.

Where To Go

moose_north_america
Moose Territory

The vast majority of moose hunting will be found in Canada or Alaska. There are also moose in Washington, Montana, Minnesota, and a few other northern tier states, but the greatest populations are to be found north of the border. Alaskan moose tend to be somewhat larger than their Canadian cousins, but the latter is plenty big enough, even if it’s a trophy rack you’re going after. Most Canadian outfitters are located in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, but you’ll find them in most provinces, and as far east as Newfoundland. Alaskan outfitters are found – you know where.

License And A Gun In Canada

If you are a US citizen and wish to hunt moose in Canada, you’ll need a US big game license (current or expired) to indicate that you know what you’re doing, or you won’t be allowed to purchase a Canadian license. Also, if you head north of the border, and want to take a gun along, usually as a means of protection in the wilderness, you can, but there will be plenty of paperwork involved in getting a permit.

Do Some Browsing

The Internet is an excellent place to start looking to see where the best moose hunting areas are, and where experienced guides, as well as hunting lodges, are located. Plan on taking about a week, plus travel time, for the hunt. Expect to pay in the order of $2,500 for the experience if going on a guided hunt. It’s worth it.

To make your trip, even more, successful, check out in advance where meat processors and taxidermists are located. If you’re on a guided hunt, the guides will usually help you get the meat to one of those places, but after that, you’re on your own, so check the price estimates as well. Bowhunting moose is not cheap, but certainly well worth the expense, and literally an experience of a lifetime.

Top Tips On Bowhunting Hogs (or Pigs)

bowhunting_hogsBowhunting hogs can be a difficult sport. Whether it is a pig or a hog, these creatures are aware of their surroundings and they can be very elusive.

  • The size of the hog (or pig) also plays an important role in being able to kill them. You have to be able to injure it in the right area so that the animal does not become agitated and aggressive instead of injured.
  • You have a better chance of being successful bowhunting hogs if you have all the right tools and equipment.

bowhunting_pigsBowhunting hogs require several things. Obviously, one of these is to have some skills as an archer. Another is patience, which is required to come close enough to an animal to take a good shot. The third thing is an ability to flirt with danger, as bowhunting hogs are not for the faint of heart. Some bow hunters go after hogs simply for the challenge it brings, others go for trophy animals, and most go for the fact that if nothing else, hog meat is delicious.

Bowhunting hogs can be quite an adventure, especially for those who really like a challenge, and don’t mind if a brush with a little danger is involved. An inexperienced bow hunter probably shouldn’t even try to tackle wild hogs, at least not until he, or she, is very comfortable with his or her archery skills. The best way to get started would probably be to go on a guided hunt. There are many ranches, especially in Texas, providing this type of hunt, and on these ranches are guides who can make your hunt a successful one, and a safer one to boot.

Wild Hogs Aren’t Un-cute Pigs

Anyone who has spent some time around pigs knows that they aren’t all like Babe, the talking pig, cute, pink, and entertaining. Adult pigs can be a little touchy at times, some even become aggressive. Wild hogs can be downright dangerous to go after, and being able to get off an accurate and telling shot is extremely important. A wounded hog may run away from you, or decide to head in your direction. Although bowhunters prefer the bow over a rifle when hunting, many are known to carry a pistol when hog hunting. You can get off several shots much more quickly with a .357 Magnum than you can with the bow and arrow.

Arming Yourself With The Right Bow And Arrows

Archery-ArrowsThe first thing that you will need is heavy arrows. Light arrows are good for traveling longer distances and they are faster. But heavy arrows can penetrate the object better than a lighter type. Smaller arrows can penetrate an animal and come out the other side, hence, doing little damage. For a game like pigs or hogs that have large body mass, heavy arrows are the answer.

The bow plays an important part in bowhunting pigs. It has to be very accurate and there are types of bows that are more precise than others. But choosing a bow depends on what you are using it for and how it fits in your hand. When shopping for a bow, make sure that the grip and sights suit you and you should have no problem drawing back the string.

Types Of Clothing To Wear When Bowhunting Hogs

scent-blocking-jacketYou should purchase scent blocking clothing to wear while bowhunting pigs. This clothing masks any human as well as animal scent. Both hogs and pigs do not see very well, so they use their noses to identify other animals. You may not think that you need this apparel but you would be surprised at the scent we all carry around. Laundry detergents, colognes, and pet dander can scare off any animal that is being hunted.

Getting The Right Devices

Sight enhancers like binoculars and spotting scopes can be useful. Any device that allows you to see better gives you an advantage, and with night vision eyewear, you will also be able to hunt at night. These devices can mean a hit or miss when aiming at the animal.

Many Places To Hunt

There are ample opportunities for bowhunting hogs in both the United States and in Canada. In the U.S., more hunting for wild hogs is done in Texas, especially the Texas Hill Country, than most anywhere else. Other states, like Missouri, and South Carolina also have a fair share of hog hunting opportunities. Wild hogs are considered a nuisance in many places and the population of wild hogs and feral pigs is actually growing. Consequently, the hunting season is generally quite long, and in some areas, hogs can be hunted the year around.

Besides wild hogs, which can be made up of several breeds or species, the most frequently hunted animals are the javelina and the Russian boar. The Russian boar is a very large hog, which has a mean streak to match its size. The javelina is smaller but no less mean. One of the challenges facing the bow hunter is that these animals usually are found in groups. They tend to be spooky, and are difficult to sneak up on. When you do get close enough to take a shot, you’re probably closer than you’d really care to be. Once spooked, the hogs will try to run away given the chance. You certainly don’t want to corner them, at least, you don’t want to corner more than one, as they will most likely turn aggressive and prepare to fight.

Best Places In The United States For Bowhunting Hogs

The best places for bowhunting hogs are in:

  • USA_mapThe Carolinas
  • California
  • Texas
  • Tennessee

But because much of their territory is being taken away from humans, pigs have to fight other pigs for territory. This causes severe scar tissue on the skin of the animal and this makes them harder to kill. The scar tissue is hard to penetrate, but if you are using the right equipment, you should have no problem puncturing the animal.

Tough To Bring Down

If you do manage to hit a hog, the chances of it going down immediately are probably 50-50, maybe a bit less. These are very tough animals and have a very tough skin, so getting a lethal hit isn’t always easy, and you may find yourself chasing after a wounded animal for quite a distance. You may never find it, or find yourself in a situation where maybe you wish you hadn’t. This is where carrying a pistol can be a good idea.

Where To Aim

You can and should aim at specific areas of the body to bring the hog down.

  • Never attempt to take the pig down with a head shot. In most cases, the arrow will not penetrate enough to do any permanent damage and the animal will be agitated and aggressive.
  • You will want to aim at the center of the body. It is easier to hit a vital organ this way, like a lung or the heart.
  • Avoid hitting the leg area and wait until the animal is moving to shoot because the legs will move away from the body.

Final Tips on Hogs

If you have to stalk the animal for a while to get the perfect shot, it can be a good idea. This method is good for a windy day and the inability of the animal to smell you will be to your advantage.

Wild hogs and pigs can carry diseases. If you do kill one, make sure to wear protective gloves when handling them.

A Beginner’s Guide To Bowhunting Turkey

Wild-Turkey-BirdAn exhilarating hobby and a different way to pick up dinner, bowhunting turkey is a growing spring sport. Wild turkey population is swelling and more opportunities to hunt for this particular game are opening up. Also, industry experts state that bowhunting equipment and gear are becoming more specialized for shooting a turkey. This all adds up to the perfect time for you to learn about bowhunting turkey.

There are a few different skills that you will need. How to find the game, attracting them within your range and then how to actually fire the arrow are all essential talents you must learn.

Turkey Calling Tips

Turkey calling is a well-fleshed out expertise. Videos and audio abound that will direct you on exactly which turkey talk to use. You may find it incredibly fascinating to learn that you can say many different things to the bird and it will respond in various ways. Besides the gobble, find out about the cluck, the yelp, the cackle and cutting (that last one is a hen letting the Tom know she’s ready for mating, a popular one to say the least). Especially learn the purr, a sound turkeys make when things are going well – the sound you will use to draw them closer into your range.

Hiding from Turkeys

Concealment is an important trick to learn. Camouflage clothing goes extreme with turkey hunting when the traditional flat pattern goes 3D. Suits have multiple layers to provide shadows and conceal the human shape. Some have a hood or face mask that offers complete coverage. Don’t forget camo gloves and if it’s not included in your suit, a face mask as well.

Turkey Blinds

Beyond your outfit, pop-up blinds provide you with ample opportunity to get close to the game. Bowhunting turkey is easy when they will saunter right up to your hiding spot. Look for a pop-up blind that sets up easily, without flaps that will scare off the birds and fairly good pack up size. Lots of space inside the erected blind and a silent window system are handy too.

Turkey Decoy Setup

Turkey decoys can be useful out there as well. Set them up in such a way so as to draw attention away from yourself. That way you can raise your bow without scaring the bird off. If you’re behind a blind this isn’t as much of an issue, so set up your decoy close to guarantee a good shot. Without a blind, it’s a good idea to set up a decoy or set of decoys away from you. That way the turkey’s attention will be drawn to the scene you’ve created and your movement won’t catch the bird’s eye. Some hunters go with single decoys and some with a group set up to create a response from roaming birds. Try a few different methods to see which you prefer.

Final Turkey Bowhunting Tips

Since the aim is a fatal shot the first time, go with ammunition designed to deliver every time. Experienced hunters claim that mechanical broadheads are the only thing to use when bowhunting turkey. Because turkeys have small target areas and are generally jumpy creatures, you need the wide cutting diameters of the mechanical broadhead. Look for heads with blunted tips and a cut wider than 1 ½ inches.

Practice makes perfect in bowhunting as well as everything else. Be accurate at 20 to 30 yards and you will do fine with wild turkey. Sit on your rear to shoot, try from behind your blind and also from your knees. Aim for a target the size of a tennis ball. If you can hit that consistently, you’re ready to gather your gear and head out hunting.

Enter the fascinating and challenging world of bowhunting turkey with training, equipment, ammo and practice. That way you have a better chance of bagging a bird every time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.